我在旅行中街头摄拍《酷热炎夏》的照片组刊登在今天（八月二十日）的 zbNOW/早报现在【光影】版 。感谢 Lianhe Zaobao 联合早报!
Happy Sunday! My travel street photography series on hot summer is published in full coverage in today's zbNOW/早报现在. Thank you so much!
This summer came early in 2023 and is extremely hot. Global temperatures have been at unprecedented levels for several weeks. The world is hammered by a very persistent heatwave, and all-time record temperatures of > 40 degrees Celsius were experienced in many countries. According to a warning issued by the World Meteorological Organisation in July 2023, the number of simultaneous heat waves has increased six-fold since the 1980s and the trend shows no signs of abating. The severe effects prolonged heat can significantly affect our physical and mental health as well as the society as a whole. So while this summer might be unbearably hot, it’s likely to be one of the coolest summers for decades to come.
Located at Tai Hang Road in Hong Kong, the Haw Par Mansion and its private garden were built by entrepreneur Aw Boon Haw (who was known as “The King of Tiger Balm" in 1936, and named after him and his younger brother Aw Boon Par. The Aw brothers inherited their father’s small herbal shop and founded the Tiger Balm enterprise in Southeast Asia. Although the younger brother’s name appears on the mansion, ownership of Hong Kong’s Haw Par Mansion belonged only to the older brother, Aw Boon Haw.
Adjoining the Mansion once stood the famed Tiger Balm Garden which was also completed in 1936 and opened for public enjoyment. The Garden was demolished to make way for luxury residences in 2004. Now, what is still standing in the heritage site is half of what it was – the four-storey Haw Paw Mansion is publicly accessible, where one can admire its unusual Chinese Renaissance style with ornate porches, windows made from Italian stained glass, and murals gilded with gold. The red brick facade, green tiled roof and grand circular ‘moon gates’ which greets visitors are reminiscent of traditional Chinese architecture.
感谢 zbNOW/早报现在 Lianhe Zaobao 联合早报 今天在缤纷版的刊登我的摄影文章《一瞬间的惊喜，观新加坡魔术师协会表演》!
最近，我观看了一场由新加坡魔术师协会 Singapore Association of Magicians 举办的无比精彩的魔术表演。新加坡魔术师协会士1973 年成立，吸引了许多魔术爱好者，常受邀参与各种社区活动。而且，协会每个月都汇聚一堂，希望召集志同道合的本地魔术师，互相切磋，在提升个人表演技巧的同时，也能互相激励、服务社会。魔术师在台上展示一个魔术往往只有几分钟，但他们可能花几年练习上千遍才练成一套魔术。对于表演魔术的人来说，表演的时候，只要看到每个人的笑容，自己也会跟着快乐起来，再辛苦也是值得的。虽然看完了表演，我还沉浸在魔术的奇幻世界里。魔术的价值在于让一个人感受到活生生地发生在眼前的奇迹，而且平时肯定接触不到。人们心中的这种感情需求其实是人类存在这世界上一开始就有的。为什么神话、宗教可以延续至今？就是因为人类对未知的事物都有好奇心。魔术就是把未知呈现在你眼前，让你体会到人最原始的身体的本能和需求被满足的感觉。
Happy Thursday! Thank you so much to the Chinese daily for publishing my very special photo documentary on the Singapore Association of Magicians as well as featuring some of its magicians today!
Magic tricks and illusions have been around for millennia, so, why do we as humans enjoy watching illusions even when we know it’s a trick? Mysteries intrigue us. Partially because we can’t know everything, and another part wants us to understand the world around us. Sometimes, we want to get away from real life. Magic tricks, illusions, and a live magic show offer an escape from reality. We get to suspend our disbelief, just as if we’re reading our favorite pirate adventure, watching our favorite movie, or flying down a zipline. Magicians alter your perception and bend the rules of reality to get your mind thinking outside the box. Who knows? Maybe attending a magic show can help you refresh your mind to solve a problem.
Lastly, kudos to all the magicians in the world! They work hard for the make believe and in the end the only thing matters to them is if you are entertained or not.
It’s hard to believe that what is now a beautiful park used to be one of the most densely populated places on the planet. Despite having been demolished 20 years ago, the Kowloon Walled City continues to captivate people today. While at first glance, it may look just like a pleasant garden in the middle of the busy city of Hong Kong, it felt surreal and disconcerting to visit a place with so much history behind it. This was one the most fascinating places I visited during my recent trip to Hong Kong.
Today, the site of the former Kowloon Walled City has been redeveloped as a historic park in its honor. The Jiangan-style garden of the early Qing Dynasty is now a green and peaceful space studded with Chinese pavilions and ponds. There weren’t a lot of people when I visited, just a few senior citizens practicing tai chi in the open spaces and chess gardens and reading newspapers along the corridors.
Guia Fortress was one of the landmarks that I told myself that I must visit in Macau. On my last day in Macau, it proved to be elusive. The paths and walkways that kept pointing me to Guia Fortress, seemingly never ends. Guia Hill was where it all started. Even though the Guia Lighthouse was in sight, it seemed miles away. When I finally reached the fortress, I must say that the views of Macau from here up are the best.